Biography

Multi-talented Michael Nesmith has come a long way from playing the quiet Monkee in the little wool cap on the popular 1960s sitcom The Monkees. Since then he has proven himself an innovator in musical genres and music videos -- his work in the latter area led to the creation of the MTV network. Nesmith is also a movie and television producer. Born in Houston, TX, Nesmith is the son of Bette Nesmith Graham, the woman who invented Liquid Paper correction fluid. Before auditioning for The Monkees in 1965, Nesmith had served a two-year stint in the Air Force, worked as a backup musician in Nashville, performed in a Los Angeles-based folk-rock duo with his friend John London, composed songs, including "Mary, Mary" and "Different Drum," and recorded a few singles. While with the Monkees, Nesmith wrote several of their hits and helped persuade the Monkees' "handlers" to allow them to produce their own records. He left the television group after completing their only feature film, Head (1968), to form his own band and then launched his solo career. In 1977, he designed a new television show called Popclips, in which he utilized live music clips while counting down the week's chart-toppers. The show is credited for inspiring the genesis of MTV. Nesmith's mother died in 1980 and left him half of her Liquid Paper fortune (worth over 20 million dollars). Nesmith then launched his own record and film production company, Pacific Arts, which became the number one source of American music videos in the '80s, and won the first Video Grammy for it in 1981. In the late '80s, Nesmith made his own filmmaking debut with the inventive music video "Elephant Parts." He reunited with the Monkees and continued to occasionally perform with them. In 1997, he and the group appeared in an hour-long television special and also released a new album, Justus. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi